Words by Eden Campbell.
Photos by Luke Sangiorgio.
Full gallery HERE.
The Brightside started letting the masses in at eight last night. The line up was already winding down the street and around the corner. There was a buzz of excitement humming all around. The punters were eclectic and colourful – all drawn to the infectious energy of Mandurah’s own, Good Doogs. Supporting the Doogs were Seaside and Beddy Rays.
As a relatively new band, Good Doogs are riding on the coat tails of their very successful 2018. Releasing a plethora of new content, including the single Want That. An anthemic rock number that earned the lads a place in the Triple J’s Hottest 200, and ascended them into the Aussie surf-rock hall of fame, alongside the likes of Dune Rats, Skegss and Hockey Dad. This time around, the trio are touring with their latest single, Nobody/Alone.
As the audience piled in to the modestly sized venue, it became clear that the night was going to be spent shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow gig-goers. A moot issue when surrounded by the types of people that bands like Good Doogs bring together: There was an undeniable vibe of comradeship and all ‘round acceptance pumping through the air.
Brisbane group Beddy Rays took to the stage first to set the pace for the evening – smashing out a blissful noise: Think shoegaze and surf-rock paying homage to pop punk and punk rock. Their performance was incredibly tight and high energy. The sound technician responsible for their set did a fantastic job at ensuring a crisp balance between all of the instruments and vocals. The mix was extremely clear and allowed for a fully immersive experience.
Up next was Sydney quartet, Seaside. Fronted by a beautiful brunette clad head to toe in black, their set began with a Middle Kids/The Jezabels-esque sound. Rolling drums under sweeping guitars and an angelic, baby doll voice transported the crowd in to a fuzzy dreamscape. Seaside has been the main support act for Good Doogs throughout the Nobody/Alone tour, which is set to wrap up in Perth at the end of June. Good Doog’s drummer, Michael Grainger joined the band on stage mid set for an impromptu sing-along, amping the crowd in to overdrive. Towards the end of Seaside’s set, they broke out a cover of TV On The Radio’s Wolf Like Me. Upping the tempo and using more isolated, heavier guitars to make for a theatrical and atmospheric performance. Seldom do I admit that a cover is better than the original, but in this instance, I believe it to be the case.
By the time Good Doogs took to the stage, the audience were completely elated. The boys had ‘em like putty in their hands as they were welcomed to the stage with a thunderous roar.
A huge part of Good Doog’s charm is their unique ability to not take themselves too seriously, and to successfully market their larrikinism. Case in point when all members took to the stage wearing their own merch, sporting a logo that was blatantly ripping off The Wiggles. Their tongue-in-cheek antics were present for the entirety of their set. At one point the crowd started chanting “Shoey! Shoey!” and, lo and behold, bassist Dylan Brown seemed to materialise a double plugger and a beer out of thin air – the rest was goes without saying.
The boys played a stellar set from start to finish. A lot of the more dreamy aural fullness heard in their recordings was stripped away to reveal a raw, more aggressive sound. The mosh pit seemed to expand with every passing track. By the time Nobody/Alone was played, people were on each other’s shoulders, and a few attempts at crowd surfing were being clambered at. The crowd rang out like a choir. There was a lot of love in the room. From the front of the stage all the way to the bar, Good Doogs had everyone captivated
The last song of the evening was Want That. It was the band’s last show with Seaside, and in commemoration, the two groups joined each other on stage for a dance and a sing-a-long. As the guitars singed out, the crowd all sang the main hook from the chorus in unison. There was 100% participation, because these guys warrant that kind of attention. Once you’ve seen Good Doogs perform, you cannot just be a passive consumer. Their charm and warm energy, paired with their undeniably Aussie take on classic California-esque surf-punk, make for a refreshing and effervescent experience. Its only up from here for these guys.
Good Doogs are wrapping up their Nobody/Alone tour in Perth on the 29th of June. Tickets available HERE